Bloggin' all over the ... UK

So we’re nearly, almost, tantalisingly close to the end of production on the book.

We’re reviewing laid-out proofs, we’re finalising agreements for the DVD (and thanks to everyone who helped with that), and we’re starting to think marketing.

At the same time, I’m running up and down the country like a fly with a bottom of an unusual colour. First it was Wednesday and Thursday in Leicester, where I was meeting with people about the Machinima Europe Festival festival, which is happening 12-14th October. It’s looking really cool - the guys at DeMontfort University’s Institute of Creative Technologies(IOCT) are really into the whole idea, and they’re giving it a ton of support. The more I saw of it, the more I was convinced that this one’s going to be big.

I also got to talk to dozens of students at the DMU Open Day about Machinima, show a whole bunch of Machinima films, and generally have a great time.

(As a side-note - above all else, the interest, enthusiasm, willingness to throw around ideas and receptiveness of the IOCT guys was great to see. I sat down to dinner with four top people on the Festival sat down to dinner, we all got a bit drunk, and we ended up brainstorming up and deciding to run a new Machinima project - now that’s the kind of people we want involved in Machinima. )

Now I’m back in Edinburgh for a day of frantically bouncing emails backward and forward between editors (including our saintly proofs editor Jodi, who we’re currently assailing with Excel spreadsheets full of last-minute alterations on a daily basis), and in about an hour I jump on a train, hook up to the WiFi, and continue firing emails back and forth into the ether as I’m carried at ballistic velocity (I wish - it’s British Rail we’re talking about here) toward Cambridge, where I’m demoing at the BBC Blast event with the Moviestorm guys.

Machinima is cresting the horizon. More and more serious people are getting interested. We’re now talking about a medium where Machinima creators regularly get approached by representatives of major TV companies, where festivals are being organised for us by seriously influential academics and high-powered business types, and where I’m legging it down the country to teach Machinima at a BBC-sponsored festival.

Toby Moores, one of the main brains behind the Machinima Europe fest (and the high-powered business type I refer to above - he’s also the producer on some of the best-selling PS2 games of all time), reckons that 2007 is the landmark year for Machinima, the point at which we crest the visibility curve. I was dubious when he first proposed that theory, but the more I’m seeing of this year, the more I’m convinced that he might have a point.